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A very windy day, with variable weather – so, unless I could find shelter from the wind, it was best to concentrate on quick drawings of people

including the visitors’ tour

If you are not a member of a-n, please leave comments for me on Twitter, or on my Facebook page, where I post one of the drawings each day. And don’t forget to keep up with all the action on the Ness of Brodgar Dig Diary, which today features my comments on the first week of my residency, and some of my pictures.

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A second portrait. This is Hugo – and his last day working in Structure 14

The first week in any new place is about getting used to the context and working out what is to be done – and in the case of a residency asking the question “Why am I here?”

Having spent the week responding instinctively to the sights and sounds that caught my eye and ear, I am at last beginning to get a sense of purpose.

Archaeology is highly concentrated on minute detail, which can build a big picture. My work could be to add another layer of overlooked detail, which might contribute to that big picture.

Note: Archaeologists use 6H pencils. I use a 6B…


Fine weather and lots of work done, including my first portrait, another watercolour, and a view across from the Ness.

Many quick sketches made. The first series was of a tour of the site to introduce newcomers and update proceedings for others.

The other drawings are of various archaeological activities. Most drawings today have accompanying sound recordings for use in developing work after the residency.


A wonderful sky to begin the day. One watercolour and four drawings achieved during the morning, with accompanying sound recordings. By lunch time rain arrived together with a gale so all work was abandoned for the day. During my afternoon off I called in to the Pier Arts Centre, where I will be doing a talk about my residency on August 6th – details to follow.

My presence was announced on yesterday’s Dig Diary (Tuesday, July 19th) on the Ness of Brodgar blog with a link to this blog. So people are beginning to get to know me on site and take an interest in what I’m doing. Getting integrated is all part of the residency process – and one of the most rewarding.



Fine weather all day and very hot. Lots of drawing, colour notes and recordings of background sound. Some drawings (not shown here) are across both pages of the sketchbook. These will be joined up with colour added later.